Last year saw 164 accidents at railway crossings, which is the lowest figure since 2003. The number of accidents has been gradually falling since 2010, when it stood at 275. The number of injured and killed people, however, keeps fluctuating. Last year, 32 people were fatally injured in accidents on rail crossings, which is the highest fatality rate per number of accidents since 2003. The number of people injured in accidents on rail crossings was 135, the third highest figure since 2003.
The chief hygiene officer Vladimír Valenta is to step down from his post. Valenta has, according to a local health newspaper, decided not to take part in a tender for the post. Valenta said after three years in the demanding position he wanted to return to work in Liberec, where he previously served as chief hygiene officer for the region.
President Miloš Zeman and Archbishop Dominik Duka finalized some aspects of the settlement between church and state over the return of confiscated property on Wednesday. After the meeting it emerged that an agreement settling a conflict over which buildings belonged to who at Prague Castle could be signed within the next weeks. Prague Castle is both the traditional seat of the head of state but also the historic site of St Vitus’ Cathedral and the site where the church developed.
The Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that the police were wrong to drop a case concerning the exploitation of foreign workers in the country. The case concerned workers, many from Slovakia, Romania, Mongolia, and Ukraine, recruited through agencies to work in the forests and undertake other manual work. In some cases the workers recieved none of the wages promised or just a fraction of them. The exploitation dossier was built up between 2009 and 2011 but police dropped the case in 2013.
The Prague 1 district court on Wednesday dealt with the case against Communist Party MP Marta Semelová for her controversial statements about the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia and the 1950 show trial of Milada Horáková. The defamation charges against Mrs Semelová were filed by TOP09 lawyer Michal Kincl. Police had previously said that the deputy’s comments on Czech Television in 2014 had not been a criminal offence. Mrs Semelová questioned whether Milada Horáková’s confession had been forced and said the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia had in fact represented international help. The court later ruled that the MP had no case to answer and did not need to make an apology.
The National Security Agency, the state body tasked with ensuring domestic security and anti-espionage services, has offered its help and advice to help the prime minister and other members of the government avoid having their e-mails hacked. The offer follows reports Tuesday the prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s e-mail was hacked by an extreme right-wing group. More than 80 public and private mails were accessed by the hackers. A few weeks earlier the prime minister’s Twitter account was hacked with racist and neo-Nazi statements inserted.
The supervisory board of Czech state owned passenger rail operator Český Drahy Wednesday cleared the sale of a plum Prague real estate site. A controversial bid by the Czech-Slovak group Penta was made for around 10000 square metres of land at Prague’s Masaryk station for around 235 million crowns. Penta has ambitions to build a high rise business district at the site. A final agreement should be signed by the end of January.
Public confidence in Czech president Miloš Zeman climbed to 59 percent in December, a jump of three percentage points since November, according to a poll published Wednesday by the CCVM agency. Over the same period confidence in the government slipped two percentage points to 44 percent. The most trusted public institutions are local councils with around two thirds of Czechs saying they have faith in them. President Zeman made a controversial appearance together with anti-Islamic activists in mid-November last year.
A Prague court on Wednesday began hearing the case of 16 men accused of smuggling rhino horns into the Czech Republic. Ten of the accused appeared in court and pleaded not guilty. The case against them is that as part of luxury safari trips between 2011 and 2013 they offered to bring back trophies from South Africa for clients. The men could face prison sentences of up to eight years if found guilty.
The supervisory board of Czech state owned passenger rail operator Český Drahy will discuss Wednesday the sale of a plum Prague real estate site. A controversial bid by the Czech-Slovak group Penta has been made for around 15000 square metres of land at Prague’s Masaryk station for around 400 million crowns. Penta has ambitions to build a high rise business district at the site.
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